WEATHER: OK. No blazing sun. A noticeable breeze. Nowhere near as brutal as it’s been in some previous years. So if you were under a tent or tree it was a walk in the park.
THE CROWD: This parade has definitely grown in popularity. We always sit on Drexel, near the end of the parade route. Could always get a spot, although now we reserve about 24-48 hours in advance. Our location is on the right side of the parade route. No one ever sat on the opposite side of the street. Until now. Every spot taken. Organizers take note.
PATRIOTISM: Lots of red, white, and blue, flag wear. But I have to say it. Enough folks with non-descript cloth that wasn’t a bit July 4th stood out…like a sore thumb. Nothing says Happy Independence Day like a drab, boring grey dress down to the pavement.
IF I HAD JUST A FEW WORDS TO DESCRIBE OVERALL ATMOSPHERE: Family/friends affair.
OVERALL ORGANIZATION BY FRANKLIN POLICE: A+
TRANSPORTATION: Getting to the parade, with or without car? No complaints from parade goers I spoke to.
MASKS WORN: Yes, I was paying attention. I saw two. Why, people? Why? So, about 99.99% didn’t wear masks. Hmmmm.
GREAT DECISION BY PARADE OFFICIALS: The wonderful veterans in the parade.
WONDERFUL FAMILY SEATED RIGHT NEXT TO US: They had Minnesota Golden Gopher Logo (Capital M) on their chairs. I told them we were cool sitting there (despite those logos) to which the father laughed, as in, Oh-Oh. I quickly said not to worry. You’re our neighbors.
Also, we have family in Minnesota. He asked, where at? Minneapolis. My cousin’s wife is a police officer who was in the police department building when it was set ablaze, and she managed to escape. The family seated next to us lives near the parade route and agreed; times are very tough in the Gopher State. Small world.
FRANKLIN COMMON COUNCIL: Four of the six members were in the parade. Who were the no-shows? Kristen Wilhelm and John Nelson.
MILWAUKEE COUNTY SUPERVISOR PATTI LOGSDON: She had trouble in the 2018 parade. As I wrote then: I’ve never seen this happen before in all the local parades I’ve attended. Poor Patti. With about 40-50 yards left in the parade she found herself needing more candy. She had another bag, but she struggled and struggled and struggled to get it open.
The crowd was impatient, but waited nicely.
Then she tossed…chocolate. Not Tootsie Rolls that can withstand the July heat, but chocolate.
TODAY: Logsdon sat in a car and when she tossed candy it barely made it halfway to the parade-goers. Ouch. Delivery needs some work. Threw like Fauci.
BUT LOGSDON SHOWED: My supervisor Joe Czarnezki did not. Probably thought he was a persona non grata. Not on July 4th, Joe.
FRANKLIN SCHOOL BOARD: Three members marched (Linda Witkowski, Debbie Larson, Maqsood Khan) to a resounding totally silent reception.
WHERE’S KEN? Skowronski, as in state Representative Skowronski (R-Franklin). Not in his car. Not walking behind his car. Oh, wait a minute. There he is. Further back, walking along the left side of Drexel Avenue, with school board member Linda Witkowski. Must have been a Polish thing.
STATE SENATOR JULIAN BRADLEY (R-Franklin): Would have loved to see him wearing his pro wrestling belt.
WI CONGRESSMAN BRYAN STEIL: Was glued to the center of the road. Relax Bryan. Pose for some pictures. Shake some hands. Kiss a baby or two.
FRANKLIN POLICE CHIEF RICK OLIVA: You were waving to the other side and missed us with our giant neon BACK THE BLUE poster. We still like you, Chief.
FRANKLIN SCHOOL MUSICIANS: From the high and middle schools. They actually performed patriotic music. A+
ON WISCONSIN: A small group of UW Band members marched. Sounded great on “If You Want to Be a Badger.” I stood and clapped. The nice family next to me with the University of Minnesota logos on their chairs did not. That’s fine. We own Paul Bunyan’s Axe.
LOVE TO SEE THOSE DOUBLE Ds: The older dance group of the same name that is.
WE MISSED YOU: Parade regulars Lance Allan and Steve Taylor.
WE MISSED YOU A LOT: Root River Church and the root beer floats.
THANK YOU, SCOUTS: As usual they were on hand to distribute American flags.
BIG SMILES: Daughter Kyla when she saw classmates she knew in the parade.
RADIO STATIONS IN THE PARADE: None.
TV STATIONS IN THE PARADE: None.
MASCOTS IN THE PARADE: Roscoe from the Milwaukee Admirals.
OTHER MASCOTS IN THE PARADE: None
LEAST POPULAR UNIT: The Riteway school bus. Huh?
WOW, THOSE WERE EXCITING: The lawn care company trucks.
AND FINALLY, THOSE GAPS: You think I’m going to beat a dead horse. Well I won’t. Because I can’t. Gaps? Maybe two or three. But nothing outrageous. And you can bet the subject I’ve talked about for ages has been discussed behind the scenes.
When Mayor Olson stopped and took a picture with Kyla he looked at my way and yelled something like, ‘This is called a gap,’ or ‘This is what causes a gap.’ BTW Steve thanks for the special plastic bag you tossed at me. I had it in my possession for about 1.27 seconds before Kyla got a hold of it.
Then there was Dave Bartels, proprietor of the Point After Pub and Grill in Franklin we patronize. He just had to shout my way, “Hey Kevin, what happened to all those gaps?”
I had no idea. But I was glad as the thermometer was close to 90 the gaps were all but gone. Parade time was about 40 minutes. No one was complaining. Congrats to parade organizers and participants.